Need a break? Read our guide on the best ways to travel on a budget
- Maud Sampson
- 10 September 2014
Some tips on travelling the world for cheap, including couchsurfing, hitchhiking and charity work
Bus, train, plane – however you chose to travel to your destination, make sure you get the best cut-price deals by checking Skyscanner, STA Travel and StudentUniverse before you leave. If you go by bus, Megabus operates in the UK, Europe and North America and offers great value (but often slow) city link services. Or buy an InterRail pass to travel around Europe by train at a cut price. Tip: rides in your country of residence are prohibited so make sure to factor this in. Rather avoid public transport? Register with car-sharing community BlaBlacar for a legitimised hitch-hiking experience. With over three million registered users in the UK and Europe, the network connects people to empty seats in vehicles travelling in the same direction ensuring costs are shared and new acquaintances made. For an even more unconventional way to travel, and with the added bonus of making money, become a crew member on a cruise liner and sail around the world – workoncruiseships.com has more details.
Try renting through Airbnb, which allows you to take a house, room or apartment, often for considerably less per head than a hotel room. For those with tighter purse strings, couchsurfing is the ideal solution: free accommodation in someone’s house and a high possibility of meeting some fun and likeminded hosts. Hostels are guaranteed fun, but you may need to bring your own bedding or pay to rent a towel.
If you’re considering volunteering for a charity during your time off, then do bother to sort the wheat from the chaff, as it’s easy to see your hard earned money taken advantage of. Beware of organisations that ask for a huge lump sum before you’ve even started; always ask for a breakdown of where your money is going and remember that the needs of the project you are involved in come before yours – ie you can’t sleep in or take an unscheduled day off because you’re not being paid. Try Raleigh International or National Trust conservation work in the UK.
Don’t have time or the means to save up for a trip? Pay-as-you-go by combining working and travel. For the eco-conscious amongst you, WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a non-monetary exchange network connecting volunteers and host farmers across the world. The concept is simple: in return for a few hours work every day, WWOOFers are provided with food and accommodation, and the added bonus of total immersion in a local culture. For a more structured work/holiday experience try Camp America, where you work for two months at a US summer camp as a paid mentor or camp assistant, with time for travel after.
Plus, not all the fun is to be had abroad. If you don’t have time to globetrot, volunteer at a UK festival (try Wickerman or HowTheLightGetsIn) and enjoy the event when not on duty. See the Festaff website for more information.